Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Hispanic assimilation

A new study finds that "English remains the language of choice among the children and grandchildren of Hispanic immigrants, despite continuing waves of migration from Latin America and concerns from some analysts that English may lose ground to Spanish in some parts of the United States, a new analysis of census data shows." The study found that "most Hispanic-Americans were also marching steadily toward English monolingualism. The report found that 72 percent of Hispanic children who were third-generation or later spoke English exclusively." Samuel Huntington, while agreeing with the study, "said that Mr. Alba’s study reflected the experiences of the descendants of Hispanic immigrants who arrived in the 1960’s, when the large waves of Latin American migration to the United States were just beginning. He said the study did little to predict the experiences of the grandchildren of more recent Hispanic arrivals."

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I live on the Texas-Mexico border, have for 35 years since my parents moved down here in 1969. I grew up surrounded by Hispanics. I studied Spanish for two years in high school and for two years in college. I got through the last year of Spanish in college by listening to novellas broadcast on Telemundo. But today, twenty years later, I can only speak rudimentary Spanish. Or, as I say, "Si, yo hablo el espanol pero no intiendo nada." Why, you might ask, since I could read, write and speak Spanish fluently at the end of my sophomore year of college, am I unable to do so now? Because NOBODY speaks to me in Spanish! Every Hispanic I know speaks English.

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